OK, so I get a lot of questions about how we practice. First I try to find a volunteer or an Asst Coach to keep time on a stop watch or countdown timer of some sort. Warning us when we have 2 minutes left in each period and then telling us when we have to switch (moms are great for this one). Second, we have to find a volunteer to set up drills ahead of our schedule or set them all up at the beginning of practice. We NEVER want kids standing around waiting for us to finish setting up a station. It is very important for us to establish an uptempo practice rhythm or routine so that our kids are always moving and they know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. This routine keeps us on a very quick pace for practice every day. But we also have the flexibility built in so that we can do some ‘unexpected’ things to keep the boys interested as well as work a little extra on something we are doing poorly.
You will notice we dont have specified water breaks on the practice plan. We like to place a water station or two at strategic places near or in the middle of our practice area so that the players can get a drink at any time they choose but more specifically when we move from one drill to the next. When a coach finishes a drill segment early (yes this happens quite often when your kids are moving at a fast pace), the players can go to the water station to wait for the next segment of practice. We never start the next segment early so quite often our players get 3 or 4 breaks just from hustling through their drill (dont think for a second that the players wont notice this and start working harder so they can finish faster). If possible have a parent volunteer keep the bottles topped off so the boys dont have to waste time filling bottles. By keeping a quick pace, we feel we can avoid those time wasting, player torturing, ’conditioning’ drills that most teams do on a daily basis. I hope you find this plan useful as it has served us well for several years.
5:55 Arrive @ Field – Ready To Go (Dressed).
Anyone late or not dressed stays after practice to do his warm-ups.
6:00 Start Practice – Team Size determines # of lines (no more than 3 players per line).
- Dynamic Warm Ups (TEAM Jump/Jacks, Form Run, High Knees, Butt Kicks, Drum Majors, Frankies, Side Lunge, Tapioca, Carioaca, Bear Crawl, Bunnies, Backpedals, TEAM Jump/Jacks).
- Every Day Drills (Cadence Clap, 3 & 4 pt stance, LEG Progression).
- Sleds & Chutes – Team not just linemen (incorporate LEG steps).
- Tackling Circuit – Form tackling and/or live tackling (Kick & Kill, Shimmy, Bermuda Triangle, Sideline, Slide & Fill or ‘The Bullpen’).
6:45 Defensive Drill Work – Also Install Schemes Individually.
- Linemen: Exploding from 4pt. Stance (move on ball only), Rip & Swim Moves, Grass Grabbing for Double-Teams and Taking On Lead Blockers.
- Backs and Ends: Alignment, First Steps at Snap, Who/How to Read, Containment, Blitzes, Pass Responsibilities and Taking On Lead Blockers.
7:00 Offensive Drill Work – Also Install Schemes or Plays Individually.
- Linemen: Footfire Progression, Wedge Progression, TKO, Down, Trap, Kick-out & Double-Team Blocks, Pulling and Sealing.
- Backs: Formations, Motion, Play Calls, Ball Carrying, Ball Fakes, Kick-out, Downfield & Down Block, Giving and Receiving Handoffs.
7:15 Offense, Defense or Special Team Time – Team Install & Scrimmage Time.
7:45 Flex Period – We can do whatever we want here but I prefer team building and static stretching to cool down the players.
- Birddog / Greyhound – Defensive Pursuit Drill chasing ‘rabbits’.
- Enduro Drill – Circle Up, 1 coach calling exercises and time in middle, others walking around mentally challenging the players.
- Relay Races (Conditions, Develops Chemistry and Competitive Spirit).
- Deer Hunters (40 yard square box) 4 ‘deer hunters’ w/ nerf footballs.
- Static Stretching (warm muscles that are full of blood can be static stretched to promote recovery so the players arent so sore at the next practice).
7:55 Coach’s Talk, Helmet Stickers, Etc. – One Knee, No Helmets. NO TALKING.
8:00 Coaches Meeting
- Positives and negatives of today’s practice & suggestions for tomorrow.
- Punishment for tardy or misbehaving players: Laps, Bellies, Etc.